Washington Nationals: Scherzer Strikes Out 11 In Win Vs. Cubs
The Washington Nationals picked up their first win over the Cubs in 2016 tonight behind a dominant outing from Max Scherzer
The Washington Nationals (40-24) beat the Chicago Cubs (43-19) 4-1 tonight behind seven innings of two-hit ball courtesy of Max Scherzer. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos each had multi-hit games as the Nats took the first game of the three-game set between the two best teams in the National League.
Max Scherzer came out pumping strikes Monday night, retiring nine of the first ten hitters he faced via the strikeout. Scherzer (8-4, 3.40 ERA) carried a perfect game into the sixth before Addison Russell put Chicago on the board with a home run to left field. That would be all the Cubs would muster against the Nats’ ace, who threw seven innings allowing the one run on two hits with no walks and eleven strikeouts.
The Washington Nationals offense would struggle to string hits together early against Kyle Hendricks, but they got to him in the third thanks to some poor defense. Jayson Werth, who walked with one out in the inning, went first to third on a single off the bat of Bryce Harper that landed in shallow center field. Dexter Fowler picked up the ball and attempted to throw Werth out at third, but the throw got away from Kris Bryant and the Nats went up 1-0.
After Russell launched the home run off Scherzer in the top of the sixth, the Nats responded with a few runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. With Hendricks (4-6, 3.05) still on the mound, Ramos stepped up to the plate to lead off the inning and crushed his tenth homer of the year.
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Anthony Rendon then followed with a double and Danny Espinosa brought him home with an RBI single. Scherzer bunted Espinosa into scoring position, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to Justin Grimm to get the final two outs. Ben Revere had other plans, however, singling to right to give the Washington Nationals a 4-1 lead.
Oliver Perez struck out the only batter he faced for his seventh hold of the season. Dusty Baker then called Shawn Kelley’s number, and the former Yankee responded beautifully. He struck out David Ross and Addison Russell in ten pitches, leaving Dusty no choice but to leave him in for the ninth. Kelley set down the Cubs 1-2-3 with two more K’s for his first save as a National.
Next: Nats-Cubs Series Preview (6/13-6/15)
Next Game: The Nats and Cubs continue their series tomorrow night with Gio Gonzalez (3-5, 3.93) and John Lackey (7-2, 2.63) squaring off at Nationals Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on MASN or MLB Network.